Infant twins fight rare cancer since birth

8:35 PM, Sep 24, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - A Deer Creek couple is facing a rare challenge as both of their identical twins battle cancer.

As the Maloney twins rested in their mother's arms at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis on Tuesday, they sounded and looked healthy, but they have not known a day on this earth without cancer.

"Never did we think we'd have two little babies with cancer," said Lynsey Maloney. "So it's been quite the road the last six weeks."

She said little Jace and Gage were diagnosed with neuroblastoma when they were born.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer which develops from immature nerve cells in many areas of the body.

A pediatrician discovered Jace's tumor behind his organs in his abdomen right after he was born.

Pediatric oncologist Dr. Julie Chu said Jace had the primary tumor.

"You can't feel (the tumor) so much anymore because it has been shrinking with the chemo," she said.

The boys had their first round of chemo at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis at just 10 days old.

"What we think has happened is that Jace started out with the tumor and it metastasized through the placental circulation to Gage," Chu said.

Neuroblastoma in twins is incredibly rare, Chu said. There have been only about 10 to 15 documented cases since the 1950s, but she said treatment has improved.

"I expect them to be able to get rid of this and they'll go on to hopefully live pretty normal lives," Chu said.

The boys' dad and their 20-month-old sister have visited and are waiting for them back home in Deer Creek.

"She wants to give them their pacifier and give them their bottle," Maloney said.

There will be about six more months of chemo, but she hopes they can be together as a family again soon.

"As bad as it is, you can still count your blessings," she said.

There is a benefit being held for the Maloney twins in the town of Deer Creek, near Wadena, on Saturday.

You can also make a donation to the Gage and Jace Donation Fund at any U.S. Bank.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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